Time recently highlighted the issue of changing fertility rates as a harbinger of a new era for the United States. But the author, Eliana dockterman, errs in thinking changing our old ways, where unsustainable population growth meant free money in the form of new bodies inflating gross domestic product, is a bad thing.
Falling fertility rates are part of the overall trend towards population stabilization and gender equity, some of the greatest successes of our time.
It’s key in this process that we stabilize at a sustainable level – and given the climate crisis (which Docketerman never mentions) – we need smaller families to hit a safe level and we need them now. Delayed fertility and smaller families are one of the greatest ways to mitigate climate emissions. As we change average family sizes and get over our addiction to growth, we are presented with another opportunity. Can we use new family planning policies to eliminate other crises, like the economic disparity, where the average black family has one tenth the wealth of the average white family in the United States?
Yes we can, through policies designed to distribute wealth in ways designed to give every child a fair start in life. Growth had to end sometime – hopefully it’s not too late.
Take action: Urge Time’s editor, Edward Felsenthan (@efelsenthal) to talk about better ways of planning our families that can make a brighter future for all.